Education Recruitment Landscape

Recruitment Crisis 255

Education Secretary Nicky Morgan has finally admitted that schools are facing a recruitment crisis. Reports suggest that this is the worst recruitment crisis within education for 36 years.

In a report we conducted over the summer we discovered 65% of headteachers polled felt that recruiting for teachers, particularly those with the necessary maths and science skills, has become hugely challenging; there can be a deficit of over 25% in some subjects. “There are subjects where we have always struggled to hit our recruitment targets.” expressed by Education Secretary Nicky Morgan. She added “We need more maths teachers. This government has placed a huge emphasis on maths in the course of the last parliament.”

Couple this subject shortage with the fact that a reported 2 out of every 5 teachers leaving the profession after 3 years; a worryingly high figure in any profession. Why are teachers leaving a profession that they have trained hard so hard to be in? Is workload driving teachers away? The average working week for a primary school teacher today is 59.3 hours.

One thing for sure we are in the midst of changing landscape within education in the UK. There is a rising student populace, with it being forecasted that the number of secondary school pupils is set to rise by 20% within 10 years reaching 3.3 million by 2024. This with the shortages of Students looking to qualify in STEM subjects beyond A-Level; looks like a challenging times ahead.

So why are school leavers and graduates not looking to teaching as a career option? Could an improving economy have had an impact with the best university graduates now tempted away from teaching roles to more lucrative positions. UCAS have reported that applications for teacher training have fallen by 9% within a year. However Teach First have argued that its strategy for attracting graduates who had little intention of going into teaching has proved beneficial. The charity also attempts to attract people in private sector careers to transition into teaching: while over half the 2003 teachers who left the classroom for a period of time have now returned- highlighting a growing trend in “portfolio careers”. Yet despite hearing success such as that of Teach First we still find ourselves in a position where our head teachers are having sleepless nights over their recruitment shortages.

What do you think is leading to the current teacher shortage? Is it that teachers are feeling undervalued by society? Is it long working hours and financial limitations? How would you combat the current recruitment crisis? Have your say… You can read the full eteach recruitment landscape report here

Whats going on out there.

19 thoughts on “Education Recruitment Landscape

  1. Good. So as the year after the golden hello ended, and the year before super giant training bursaries for my subject, please may I have a financial incentive for sticking with the education system the government keep making worse? ..

  2. The entire social system is to blame for teacher shortages in the UK. Lack of students respect towards teachers and towards the elderly. A rebellion against authority because of bad role models within the home. Schools need more finance to attract teachers of course but who wants to face a daily barrage of abuse from students. The more society becomes demoralised the bigger the recruit problem will become. Teachers are side tracked with too much unnecessary admin tasks that have not improved students academic ability. Teachers all complain about this point but no one listens.

  3. Compared with other professions, the pay is not attractive enough. If you had been a solicitor for several years you would most likely have a better salary, a company car, fuel allowance and private health care. We get holidays as the trade off but plenty of people moan that we get those. Then once you are in, you realise the workload means you end up on about £6 per hour once you work it all out. If the government want to make teaching attractive then they need to start valuing the public sector and stop insulting us with 1% pay rises and public ridicule.

  4. Long working hours and for what benefit? Teaching completely takes over your life! That is until the holidays when you are ultimately sick for at least a week and then try and catch up with your work that they have been unable to do because you’ve been absolutely exhausted. Why anyone would WANT to be a teacher I am struggling to remember. I would never recommend teaching to anyone.

  5. Supply and demand.
    Why, for example, despite the absurd whingeing of GPs and hospital consultants, who earn well over £120,000 per annum whilst working shorter hours than most teachers, do high achieving students queue up left right and centre decade after decade in the desperate scramble to achieve a place at medical school.
    Pay peanuts, particularly for very able mathematicians and scientists and such individual will go elsewhere.

  6. Pupil’s behaviour is the most off-putting factor of throwing the towel. Pupils have too many rights, use them against the teachers and start dancing on our heads. Unfortunately, many pupils show rude behaviour towards teachers, talk back, show no sense of respect or courtesy, verbally abuse the staff and have a massive attitude towards members of staff.

    Consequences taken by the school obviously don’t seem to work as the behaviour issues continue to affect the lessons, learning and the teaching. Very frustrating to see that the priority nowadays seems to be managing behaviour issues in the classroom – or quite frankly, babysitting over a bunch of wild monkeys. And only then comes teaching the actual subject.

    It would be helpful if the government would tighten up the rules with regards to pupil’s attitude and behaviour. “Don’t touch me” must be eliminated as it is getting ridiculous of how pupils use it against teachers. They take it completely out of context.
    Social workers working in schools could also help to build bridges between pupil’s issues and their growth in school.
    And last but not least,it would also be helpful if parents would co-operate more with teachers to ensure their children’s progress.

  7. Low morale. High stress. Constant pressure on achieving academic targets. Less emphasis on pupil well being. Lack of support. Too much pressure from high up and too little awareness of the job at ground level. Not enough support especially with I.T for returning teachers in the primary sector. Confidence issues due to all the changes.

  8. Teaching is not an ordinary profession, if you love it, you won’t even mind your salary. However, if you do it just to support yourself, your day to day can be annoying.

  9. I agree that the workload is really quite unfair, and the salaries povide little incentive to cope with this downside. I think the profession of teaching needs to be elevated to a much higher status with greater respect for teachers; a greater appreciation for what teachers do may help to fuel changes, such as a reduced work load, less useless paperwork, and better wages.

  10. I am a maths teacher for over 20 years and I have gained a vast experience in teaching. I cannot acquire a teaching job in Saudi Arabia because I don’t have a degree. Would you rather prefer a person with no teaching experience but he has a degree?

  11. The teacher recruitment crisis can be solved if teachers from other countries like India, Philippine, Romania, etc., are given a chance but the UK government will never accept them. These foreign teachers are hardworking and dedicated but they need a chance to prove their mettle.

  12. The workload is very high. I have been working as a devoted teacher in the same school for 20 years now. During this time I have seen my workload reach the ceiling which has prevented me from really taking any promotion. I am organised and considered effective at what I do and I actually really enjoy teaching however the requirement for depth marking with pupil feedback and dialogue not to mention the never ending additional activities we are expected to employ leaves little time to teach effectively. We are professionals who want to teach and if the government wants us to satisfy the never ending Ofsted criteria and never ending class room strategies they must accept that teachers will need more non contact time to deliver good effective lessons that really make a difference. It is impossible to expect more from an already overworked work force and to then not want to increase their salaries. The government must take some responsibility and reduce teaching hours so that we can prepare. Please do not insult us by saying we have plenty of holidays… a very poor compensation. The majority of my family are / have been teachers … and it saddens me to accept that I for one will not be pleased if any of my own children wish to follow their grandparents or parents footsteps. All those politicians need to wake up and get real l!!

  13. Classroom practise is the best part of my job. Unfortunately, endless paperwork, unnecessary meetings and micro management that prevents individuality and creativity is making it harder for me to stay in a profession I trained hard for and originally excited me.

  14. I used to love teaching, twelve years ago when I felt that I had some flexibility in the role and could actually enjoy being in the classroom. Now all it’s about is lesson observations and being told how to teach. Education wants robots, not individual teachers. Workload is horrendous, stress and pressure levels through the roof. Would give up tomorrow if I could find another way of paying the mortgage. Need less ‘Big Brother’ and more freedom to do what most of us could do better if we weren’t being watched and judged so intensely.

  15. Children’s behaviour: fix that and the stress will go down, any amount of paperwork could be done, and students will learn. The BS of teacher training by education lecturers who have done little school teaching themselves, the BS of left-wing emphasis on children’s rights, the BS of “initiatives” which create consultancy for the same lecturers and heads but make no difference. . . : these have created the daily stress. I had to laugh at a recent TV programme about Chinese teachers being brought in to teach in a comprehensive in England. The poncy “principal” of the school did not seem to know in advance that the Chinese teaching would be old-fashioned up-front didactic. (That is what it is in most non-western countries.) If he did not bother to acquaint himself with what he was getting, that was negligent of him. Charitably, I assume that his surprise was pretend, just for the show. The significant difference between a Chinese school and a British one is that in China the children behave themselves. That is what enables any kind of teaching to work, up-front, group work, investigations, you name it. It is not methodology that makes the difference – it is children’s attitudes.

  16. After a short break in teaching I have been applying for teaching jobs for the last two years. I have only been invited to four interviews and was unsuccessful on all of those occasions. I have 5 years teaching experience and before that I was a nursery nurse for 9 years so am very experienced at working with young children. All of the interviews were for foundation stage teacher posts.
    What keeps coming to my mind is that maybe I am deemed too old to teach at the grand old age of 55 as I have heard on several occasions that teachers over the age of 50 are feeling pushed out of the classroom. If the shortage of teachers was that serious surely I would have a job by now.

  17. I am at work from 7:30 till 5:30 every day. I allow myself a ten minute lunch break. It is full on all day. Just standing in front of a class of 30 and being enthusiastic and full of energy would be hard enough, but on top of it all one tries to mark no end of books every day, deal with parents, deal with behaviour, put up displays, run after school clubs, deal with ICT short comings, prep ones lessons …… the list is endless! When I get home I feel so exhausted, I can hardly speak. Then I put my young children to bed and carry on at 8 o’clock – most nights till midnight, often longer. I also spend the weekend working – all of Saturday and some of Sunday too. We are allowed half a day PPA time. Isn’t that a joke! How can this be sustainable? I have been teaching for 11 years now and truly – it is getting worse. I like the above comment about other professionals with similar experience driving a company car, receiving bonuses and a much better pay package than teachers. The money we earn is laughable. Yes, we get more holidays, but to be honest, half of them I am always ill. I also don’t like the fact that we can’t choose our holidays – and are therefore bound to pay extortionate prices should we want to fly anywhere. I can’t afford to take my family on the wages I am on. Teacher’s should be given a discount! Another thing that bugs me terribly is that there is never any money in school for resources. I spend no end of my monthly wages on teaching material and resources. What other professional would have to do that? I tell my children not to ever become a teacher and if I had the time and energy to find another job that pays the bills I would be gone tomorrow.

  18. My daughter has studied for the last 3 years she is in full time work as a nursery nurse and at un i on a night time as well as a single mother of two ; what I don’t understand Is her working at collage for two years then to get her level 3 in teaching : she had to be in full time work at a school ; after 3 years she needs to do her PGC for a full year to qualify as a Teacher ; only she would have to pack her full time job in at the school to study full time in UNI ; where is the sense in this ; you call single parents for not working then surport the likes of her by changing things and you wouldn’t have a shortage as you put it in teaching ; start by spending OUR TAXES on helping English people for a change ; my daughter would make an excellent School Teacher if you give her the chance .

  19. If the general public were aware, and thence cared, which I doubt, about the stress, long hours and general opprobrium from the media, successive governments and parents teachers are dealing with, perhaps empathy would be forthcoming. Frankly I doubt it.
    Doctors are self- sacrificing saints, who would not get out of bed for the salaries teachers earn.
    The recruitment crisis is most chronic in mathematics. Obvious why: maths graduates can earn a fortune compared to teachers of mathematics outside of the education sector.
    Supply and demand!

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